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Max Cavalera (Cavalera Conspiracy)

Interview with Max Cavalera from Cavalera Conspiracy
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 31 July 2008, 9:26 AM

I got the chance to talk to Max just before the Chicago show with CAVALERA CONSPIRACY. The 20 minutes chat confirmed that Max is an honest and most friendly person who shares with us the same passion for Heavy Metal music. (All photo from

 How was the European tour?

It was great! It lasted almost two months and that's the longest we have done. Usually, we are doing one month and then take a break before getting back again. The show in Greece was great. The place was very beautiful and I have been there with SOULFLY but I think this time was a little more crazy than before.

 You said some Greek words then.

Yeah I did! It was something bad you know like fuck this shit up, but I really can't remember it now. I had it written on paper.

 So, how does it feel being on-stage with your brother after all these years?

It's really good man. I think it is even better now because during the SEPULTURA days a lot of things were happening that were not connected to the music. You know, even during those stressed times when me and my brother were on-stage everything was forgotten.

 You are really get connected on-stage…

Yeah we do. We always did and will always will!

 I think you have brought your whole family into the band.

It really feels like a family. Everyday I get to meet a guy that has been into the 'Beneath The Remains' tour and then meet a young one who sees my band for the first time. It's really great to bring the generations together.

 So, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY is a project or a full time band?

I think it is a little bit of both. It's something special that we will not keep doing all the time. We are going to make another album and of course we will tour. But I want to keep it special and get back to it when it feels right probably in a couple of years or so.

 Are all the songs in Inflikted new ones? Or some of them were supposed to be in a SOULFLY album?

No, it is new material expected from Inflikted. I had this song for a SOULFLY album before I talked to Igor. The lyrics for this one were inspired by a trip to Indonesia with Igor and SEPULTURA back in 1992 so you can say that this song was meant to be for CAVALERA CONSPIRACY.

 What was your composing process? Did everyone contribute to the song writing?

I sent Igor a CD with a collection of guitar riffs that I have wrote (about 12) that were actually the backbone of the album. The rest of the music was written by all the guys in the band. Actually this was really great because everyone put his heart on it and were really happy with the result. I left Igor do the stuff that we did not like back in the SEPULTURA days. We thought that it wasn't fit to get this Brazilian vibe in the music. But I encourage him to do all this stuff and I also encouraged Marc to do some cool guitar solos with kind of crazy shit.

 I have also the chance to listen to the latest SOULFLY album Conquer and I think that you have brought the guitars in the front with an old-school Thrash sound. Did you do it on purpose or it just happened in the studio?

No it wasn't something that I planned to do. This started in Prophecy but it has been there for the very beginning. I mean you can find the Thrash sound even in the first SOULFLY albums but there you have also other things. But in Prophecy I thought that this is what I like more now. I loved that stuff but I have already done this; I cannot repeat it, I cannot do stuff like Zumbi anymore. Maybe this is the end of the tribal sound, at least for this moment. So, now I changed to the Thrash and the Heavier sound and yes this started in 2004 and now it shows.

 Who had the idea about the Sanctuary video clip?

I can't remember if it was Igor or the director who had the idea. Actually Igor and the director also worked on the band logo. So, they told me about their idea and I found really cool and original. You know I believe that in some things Igor is ahead of his time. The funniest of this video clip was the time that we were watching it! You know everybody gets killed in the end. (laughs)

 What are the rest of your tour plans? You have a new SOULFLY album, don't you think you should take a break?

Yeah, we will definitely take a break after this tour and then return to Europe with SOULFLY and then back to US. I was a little bit worried for not having a time break between the SOULFLY and the CAVALERA CONSPIRACY album but on the other hand I was so inspired with Inflikted that Conquer became really natural. Conquer is pretty different from Inflikted because it is more complicated like the song Warmageddon

 So, can we expect that SOULFLY will come to Greece?

Yeah I hope so. You know something although I love festivals but I also love the times when SOULFLY play in clubs. I remember the small club we played in Thessaloniki that was even more crazy than the festivals. I remember the fans singing all the lyrics louder than the PAs. It was amazing!

 Your vocals sound really angry; how can you get to this mood when you are isolated in the studio?

Yeah man it is difficult but you have to do it. For me this is the greatest challenge. So, when I am entering the vocal booth I am thinking of the fans that will be listening to this and their emotions. I am getting in this mood before I started recording. When I am recording the vocals it is just me and the engineer. And when the rest of the band listens to the recordings they are just freaked out because an hour ago the song was normal and now it is totally crazy. It's like now when we are talking and I am cool but when you will see me on-stage I am a different person! I am completely different Max on-stage.

 Hey this is Metal! We put our soul in it!

Exactly, some people try to explain what is happening to us in a Metal concerts but I honestly don't know. Maybe I suffer from schizophrenia, who knows? (laughs)

 Who doesn't suffer from schizophrenia these days?

I mean following this life style for 20 years you have got to be crazy! But seriously Metal helps people to get all the bad things out; and this is the best way to blow some steam off instead of going against people.

Society has the wrong impression about us; ok we do look a little bit scary in the mosh pit but we are very friendly persons. In France we had a reporter from a big newspaper who followed CAVALERA CONSPIRACY for two days. The guy was completely amazed by the fans; initially was scared of them but when he got the chance to meet them he totally changed his mind. At the end this guy wrote an excellent review about the show and he actually said that he met some of the coolest people during those two days. This is what I like with Metal and I will never get away from it.

 Ok, Max my last question; when did you decide to use four chords on your guitar?

A long time ago man. Although my memory does not serve me well about those heavy drinking days (a lot of Jack Daniels) and you will get a different story if you talk to Igor about this. I think it was around 1987 with Schizophrenia when my strings broke and I was the dilemma what to buy; beers or a new set of strings? And I chose beer of course (laughs). One day a roadie told me Hey that looks really cool and you don't need them so we can buy more beer and I was on with that!.

 Ok, Max thanks for your time say what ever you like.

Efharisto (\[edit] in Greek means thank you) Dimitri.


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